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Last year about this time there was a discussion on this site about which caliber is more apt to penetrate brush most effectively. I am thinking about investing in a rifle before next season to use to hunt whitetails in WV. The area that I hunt has some fields, but mainly it is densely wooded
with small openings that give opportunity for shots up to 150 yards. I am thinking about .243, 25-06, .280 or 30-06. Give me your thoughts.
 

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buckeye,
The feeling according to the people in the know is ANY and ALL caliber of bullets are affected by brush and branches, no matter what size. However to what degree you might ask? My feelings are that the higher velocity, lighter weight bullet is bound to be deflected greater than the slower, heavier bullet. Perhaps that is why the older 30/30, and 45/70 are so respected as great Deer hunting calibers, especially in dense woods. The combination of caliber to a certain narrow velocity range seem to work wonders.
savageT
 

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the calibers you mention will make little to no difference where deflection is concerned. the only brush buster i have ever seen was a slug. i put one through a 3 inch diameter sapling and into the side of a small doe. she never took another step. she was standing about 5 yards behing the sapling. i have also fired 5 shots from a 30-06 at 10-20 yards in thick pines at a deer sneaking through. he never ran, just kept walking really fast. the last shot penetrated and killed him after a long track in light snow. the entrance hole was the size of a baseball. bullets were 165 grain spire points pushed to about 2800 fps. all other shots were definitely on target. they just never got through the brush. had one other experience when a friend and i were shooting at some doe at around 75 yards standing on a hill in thick cover. we fired 11 or 13 shots. cant remember which. anyway, the deer just stood there and we kept firing. i pulled out my clip and put another one in and kept firing. as i remember (was about 15 years ago) i fired 7 shots. then the deer ran off. went up to look for blood and found dozens of branches broken way before where the deer were standing. again, i am certain all shots were on target yet no deer was touched. it is tough getting high speed rounds through thick cover...period. good luck

jeff
 

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Brush hunting

Hunting in brush is especially challanging. There were some tests reported on in a couple gun Mags/rags and they did a good job. Both concluded that any bullet is deflected,with light high speed bullets being the worst. My advice going along with SavageT( he is right on) use bigger heavier slower stuff. My solution was a 35 Rem pump rifle( highly regarded as well) . 45-70 just has too much thump to get an effective follow up shot. Shotguns in close cover are also about as good as it gets. Pick a rifle for its handling ability, swing point, touch it off. Just like a skeet shooter. You cant possibly find a hole in brush on a moving target just act like it is not there. Storry from a friend in So NY shotgun only zone. He Shot a buck with a 12 Ga slug. When dressed he found 3 seperate entrance wounds. The slug had struck brush and split into pieces, all striking in the boiler works. However, still had the power to get the job done with no exit wounds
 

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a few years back I had one shot at a 8 point whitetail at about 50 yards. The only problem was that there was a 3" pouplar tree in the way. I made the shoot with a .44 mag with 300grain kieth hardcast bullets and dropped the deer in its tracks. Try that with a .243!
 

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:lol: Yep all my dad does now when I bring it up is just get a little cheesy smile going... Its funny now... Somehow he managed to get a deer though.. big ole doe... Thanks for the story though... But that deer hunt did bring us pretty close more so than we were before... Anyway thanks again...

Mike
 

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hey 22, ever tried to cut shooting lanes in state forest in PA? or how about anational forest? you wouldnt be hunting anymore. even worse, you wouldnt be sleeping in your own bed. and your cell mate bubba, he would be very happy you cut nice shooting lanes. i dont make any apologies for taking 5 or 7 shots at deer. matter of fact, i am in pa this week for the opener and tomorrow, if i have a nice buck standing in thick cover, i will be launching 243 diameter bullets at him till he drops. if i have to reload, i will. if it takes 14 shots, fine. i will keep shooting until he goes down. sorry, but this doesnt make me any more or less ethical than any other hunter. they call it hunting. sometimes things die, sometimes they get wounded and sometimes both. dont like it? take up golf. i get tired of people saying "you have to have more respect for your quarry". biggest bunch of hog wash i ever heard. try telling a dead deer, bear, elk, "hey mr elk, i really respect you". dont think they care when they are dead. we still are killing them, no love or respect there. sure, there is love for hunting, love for the sport, love for humans, love of self (for some people) but no love for anything you are killing. thats a total oxy moron.
 

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:D O.K....I tried to keep out of this discussion but that is just about impossible for me...lets start with the brush bucking rounds....there are not any...and boys..that also includes the .50 BMG ROUND...Now for the interesting part....if the deer is within a few feet of the brush,most of the heavier slugs will not be deflected to the degree of not hitting the deer and making a killing wound..if its close to the other side of the brush,it probably will work...Now to rile up some people..I do wild life recovery,and im also a hunter...I handle more wild animals in a year that most people will do in a lifetime...and we aint talking squirrels here sportsfans...i have raised many fawns,coons,fox,coyote,and some bigger critters..all to be released back into the wild...do i have respect for em...U BET I DO..EVERYONE OF EM.....I will alway respect the wildlife and the critters much more that i ever would humans...that is from many years of learning.......The guy/gal,shooting a bunch of rounds at a deer,makes everyone that hunts look like a fool,and that is a fact......If you gotta shoot more that three times at any animal u have not done your job of learning your rifle,and loads,and also your limitations...its the first one that counts,not the second,or the third or the 14 for that matter.....I you wanna look like a fool that should not have a firearm,thats up to you and i have no problem telling you that..i also agree that more people on this forum will agree with me than not...The person that does not respect the animals,and the forest,inturn does not respect himself,and is nothing more that a killer out to do whatever he can to brag about killing something....Have I shot more that once at a deer..yuppers,and i learned from it...I crippled it and lost it...boy..is that something to be proud of...I would much rather learn from a mistake and be humbled by it that inturn keep doing it,much less bragging about it...A lot of people read these forums and dont like hunting or firearms...Now why would you want to give them ammunition.....For that matter,each state has enough slob hunters in it,why would they want to import any......ther is an old saying....1 shot,buck...2 shot,maybe buck,3 shot...no buck......the peson that leaarns from his mistake,has learned...some never will...now i will get off of my high horse and drink my coke....king :twisted:
 

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:-D a better def of oxymoron;military intellegance
 

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hey king, interesting how you "respect" those animals yet pick 3 shots as your cutoff. that is ridiculous! why not 4? how about 2? so if a guy shoots 3 times he is a good hunter who respects his animals. but if a guy shoots 4 times he is somehow a lesser man not worthy of hunting? sorry, havent seen any laws in any of the dozen or so states i hunt in, that say..."no more than 3 shots at an animal". thats just plain dumb. and "respecting" something you are killing? thats even dumber. you are killing it dead, kia, no life, breathless....that aint respect. guess i should go kill some folks around town that i really "respect". again, goofy. i think you are confusing what the word respect means. it doesnt mean shoot things dead. now, did anyone say, "i think its great to shoot deer one leg at a time"? or "i think you should wound a deer so you have to track him for miles while he suffers"? no they didnt. and the amount of shots you fire at an animal has nothing to do with anything other than making you feel better because you didnt fire 4 rounds. one more question, if you wound a deer on the first round because he flinched as you were pulling the trigger. then he runs away, can i shoot at him only 2 more times to equal 3 or can i shoot an additional shot at him? everything can and does happen in this sport. even perfectly placed shots sometimes fail to kill an animal within short distances. to suggest that you never ever, ever shoot more than 3 times because it is unsportsman like is suggesting one of 2 things: 1 you are full of crap, or 2 you dont have much experience in killing animals.
 

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Boy sorry I ever posted anything didn't meen to cause all this fuss, and as far as respecting the animals all I was trying to say was to keep it humane as possible... Thats all... Oh and I didn't realize its illegal to trim trees in a national forest cause I have never hunted in one sorry again... maybe try better stand placement??? All I was trying to say in summation was people should pick their shots and not try to shoot through trees or what have you... Thats all nothing more if your pissed about it let me have it I don't care cause I don't take everything as a personal insult...

Mike
 

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OK I gotta put in my two cents worth. Just from my own experence and thoughts. 1) If I cant see enough of the deer to shoot through an opening then it free to go on its way. 2) If it doesnt bother you to hit and not recover a deer well there is nothing I can say to you to change that. I hit and lost one deer only to find her four days later and I still dont like the feeling. 3) If you know you hit a deer and it is still running and you have a clean shot you have the obligation to shoot till its down even if it is the sixth shot that does it if they are safe shots. 4)If you shoot at a deer standing in the brush and it stands still till you hit it with your fourteenth shot I dont want to be in the woods with you. If the first thirteen shots hit brush and missed the deer they damn sure went somewhere. They may have hit a tree two feet behind the deer. Then they may have hit a tree fifty yards behind the deer and that may be the tree that I am in waiting for a clear shot at the same deer. If you cant see the deer clearly then I know you cant see that tree fifty yards further. As Forrest Gump said "Thats all I got to say about that"
BruceP[/color][/color][/color]
 

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:D JEFF...YUK..YUK...THAT 1SHOT BUCK,2SHOT MAYBE BUCK IS NOT ORIGINALLY FROM ME....THAT CAME FROM A VERY OLD AMERICAN INDIAN THAT I KNEW WHEN I WAS A KID.....HE USED TO LAUGH AT THE WAY THE WHITE MAN HUNTED...THAT WAS HIS POINT OF INTEREST AS TO HOW MUCH AMMUNITION WE COULD BURN UP...THAT WAS A LOOOONG TIME AGO...AS FOR SHOOTING AT AN ANIMAL...WE COULD SIT HERE AND PLAY GAMES ALL NIGHT,BUT THE MOST THAT I HAVE EVER SHOT AT AN ANIMAL,WHICH WAS A DEER,WAS THREE TIMES...HE OR I FLINCHED THE FIRS TIME,THE SECOND HE WAS TROTTING,THE THIRD HE WAS WAY OTTA RANGE FOR MY CAPABILITIES....AND THERE IS NO WAY IM GUNNA SHOOT MORE WITH SUCH A HIGH PROBABILITY OF CRIPPLING THE ANIMAL AND NOT MAKING A KILLING SHOT....HES IS LOST AT THAT POINT...AND BESIDES..I MIGHT GET ANOTHER SHOT AT HIM AT A LATER TIME,WITH A HIGHER PRPOBABILITY OF HITTING AND DROPPING HIM...KING
 

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:-D I think ya missed the point of the whole thing son... :-D
 

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no king, i didnt miss the point. i just like pulling chains once in a while. sometimes we as hunters put such bull crap restrictions on ourselves that it is silly and i was just trying to point that out. like the "i only take 3 shots stuff". or i love this one, "i only take sure kill shots". that one makes me giggle everytime. the only folks who say that are the ones that havent killed to many times. and surely that person doesnt hunt ducks or geese or turkeys. lots of them are wounded almost everytime you pull the trigger but that doesnt seem to bother the guys who make comments about "i never wound a deer, you owe him that, you have to respect your animals". well why dont you owe it to the duck, goose opr turkey? are you respecting them? or are you waiting for them to land in the decoys so you can have a "sure kill"? the hole argument on wounding game is stupid. if you dont like wounding them, dont hunt. cuz thats what you do in this sport. and i dont care how good a shot you are or how much you respect animals, if you hunt long enough, sooner or later a deer will get away wounded. and if you small game hunt, well you wound stuff everytime you are out, provided you get a shot. have a good day!
 

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Hey I only take sure kill shots. However on occasions things go wrong and I miss er wound. But I was still taking a sure kill shot don't ya know. Well dang I thought it wuz until I pulled the trigger or released the arrow anyway. :)

Stuff happens.

GB
 

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RESPECT

Respectfully disagree with you Jeff. Every missed shot was closer to injuring and losing an animal than it was to killing that animal. I hunt with Contender pistol and muzzleloaders. I shot three times at deer with my pistol this year...three dead deer. Twice last year with a ML...two dead deer. Twice the year before...two dead deer.

Yes, I am proud of not injuring and losing deer, and ashamed that other hunters think the way that you do. You make us all look bad with an attitude that shows zero respect for game animals. I will pull no punches regarding this. I respectfully request you reconsider your position, and or do not berate me for noting mine.

I spend time every deer season tracking other people's injured deer that they either don't bother following up, or don't even realize they hit. They then continue to hunt while a game animal runs off and dies and gets wasted. That absolutely shows a lack of respect for that animal...and our fellow hunters. If that hunter goes on to kill another deer on his tag he has killed one he found for himself and one that ran off someone else could have shot, tagged, and made use of.

Flame away...I have faith I am not the only one who feels this way. The alternative is too depressing.
 

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FOLLOW UP

The comment that we injure and lose small game every time we hunt is amazing. I run rabbits with Beagles. Last year I shot and injured a rabbit and lost it down a hole. I spent two hours, with one of my dogs help digging the rabbit out of the hole and putting it out of its misery. Will I lose a rabbit or bird occasionally?...absolutely.

Will I brush it off as "necessary" to the sport and no big deal...absolutely not. I will try my damndest not to let it happen again and feel like crap when it does. Anyone who did not feel the same would quite honestly not be welcome on hunts with me or many of my hunting friends.

If that makes us soft or whatever so be it. Hunters make up less than 7% of the population of the US, and that will not win many referendums unless my math is suspect. A non-hunter hearing your attitude is likely to be turned off, and none of us can afford that. We must have the support of non-hunters to survive with this treasured hobby of hunting.

I feel the same about parading dead deer on cars hoods around in front of non-hunters and bumper stickers that say "Happiness is a warm gut-pile." Realy funny to some, but that non-hunter on the fence about accepting hunting as a reasonable way of life might just change their mind and make discussions like this moot.

Have a good season. I hope you can read my post without simply getting angry in return. I want all of us to keep the opportunity to have these arguments. Lets agree to disagree, but I hope that our discussion is kept in mind by both of us.
 

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GOOD POSTS

RIMFIRE; vary good posts alot can be learned by just reading them and then just THINKING back and asking ourselfs where have I done wrong, :oops: JIM
 

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its really nice you dug out a rabbit. i wont be doing it. guess i wont be hunting with you either and that is fine by me, i dont like hunting with folks that are dilusional about this sport. and your attitude is great. too bad it isnt based on any reality of hunting. gotta go respect some more animals to death. probably hunt coyotes in the morning. would like to try and respect 5 or 6 of them. have a good one.
 
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